Last week the House Education Labor and Pension Committee issued an announcement that it would begin a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). They issued the following statement:
Today, we’re announcing a bipartisan, open and transparent effort to rewrite No Child Left Behind – a law that we all agree is in need of major reform. It will start with a series of hearings in the coming weeks to explore the challenges and opportunities ahead as we work to ensure an excellent education is available to every student in America. With a real commitment to innovation, we invite all stakeholders who share our serious interest in building a world-class education system to email us their suggestions.
The first hearing will be this Wednesday, Feb. 24, on the topic of charter schools. The focus of the hearing will be H.R. 4330 All Students Achieving Through Reform Act, a bill filed in December by Rep. Jarid Polis D-CO. The bill would provide competitive grants for the expansion and replication of certain charter schools.
The fact that the House is moving on reauthorization is no guarantee that the Senate, given its current state of disfunction, will get to ESEA anytime soon. This does not mean that the education community should ignore the invitation that Chairman Miller has extended to email suggestions for what should be included or excluded from the reauthorized version of the law. The email address is email@example.com and the deadline is March 26, 2010.